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Quartz Reef Winery chief executive and head winemaker Rudi Bauer said it was time to put the winery on the market.
"It’s simply called age ... to come to the next level with Quartz Reef I think we are possibly running out of time or energy."
Mr Bauer first saw the two Bendigo sites in 1990.
He formed a partnership with Bendigo Station owner and custodian John Perriam and company director and chartered accountant Trevor Scott, of Wanaka, and launched Quartz Reef in 1996.
Both the vineyards were organic and biodynamic certified, one of only six vineyards in the country to have achieved full certification.
It was common practice when a vineyard like Quartz Reef was sold that the key person would stay on for up to two years for a proper handover, as the new owner would not want to lose all that experience, he said.
Ideally, the consumer would not notice a difference in the wine under new owners.
"It’s in my interest to continue the vision and pass it on."
He was known for working to support both the quality of wine Central Otago was known for and the people involved in producing it.
However, there came a point when it was a good time to pass on the torch, he said.
"Ultimately, it’s my life work.
"It’s a lot of hard work but at the same time you know something has been achieved.
"That something has also been particularly respected by the peers, well-respected by the wine critics and also Quartz Reef as a company people remember not only the quality of the wine but also the people."
He would be able to share his decades of experience to guide the new owner.
After the sale he would stay in Central Otago.
"I’m not going anywhere.
"Our whole family has grown up here ... My community is here and I want to continue to be involved one way or another."
Mr Bauer was New Zealand Winegrowers Fellow for 2020.
He was winemaker of the year in 1999 and 2010 as well as the Royal Agricultural Society Gold Medal winemaker of the year in 2010.
He was the first New Zealand winemaker nominated for the Der Feinschmecker Winemaker of the Year in 2010.
The other nominees were from Portugal, France, Austria, Germany and Italy.